How a SpaceX Launch Was Almost Halted By a Single Human Hair

By Aazam

A strand of hair disrupted a recent SpaceX Crew-5 launch, showcasing the dangers posed by even the most innocuous objects

Engineers quipped that while FOD is a four-letter word, there's nothing strange about its ability to trigger foreign object debris

The incident occurred around 10:25 a.m. on October 5, when the SpaceX pad crew was preparing Crew Dragon Endurance for a Falcon 9 rocket

With four Crew-5 astronauts already inside the capsule and the hatch closed, an attentive eye noticed a single human hair in the latch seal

The hair was designated FOD – an engineering term for foreign object debris – requiring the pad crew to take action

The countdown clock had just ticked at T-90 minutes, so time was of the essence. The pad crew calmly reopened Endurance's hatch

He did another inspection, thoroughly cleaned the sealed area again, and closed the hatch for a second and final time

It's revealing and completely understandable that it would take time for SpaceX pad crews to take a hair out before a rocket launch

In the aerospace industry, FOD is defined as any item that does not belong to a specific location

Whether that location is the hatch seal, the engine, the cockpit or the runway. Debris in the wrong place can damage equipment